Week 1: North vs. South- the Division of Cultures by Leslie Grant

 

Upon discovering that there was a course on Art, Science, and Technology being offered for students who were interested in learning more about the interrelation between the three, I was immediately intrigued. I have always been infatuated with the sciences, particularly biology for its progressive and extremely applicable nature, making it no surprise that I chose to pursue a degree in biology. However, I have never been one to limit myself to scientific exploration, and am fascinated with arts, literature, studies of human thought, and a vast array of other subjects. In short, I can confidently say that yes, I am familiar with the second law of thermodynamics and have indeed read a work of Shakespeare’s. While I believe that the nature of the relationship between artists and scientists is never one that can be concretely defined due to the wide range of opinions that exist on the topic, I also strongly feel that an unbiased look at the subjects of art and science prove indefinitely that the existence of one is crucial to the existence of the other. For this reason, I took special interest in Stephen Wilson’s article, “Myths and Confusions in Thinking about Art/Science/Technology.”

I thought that Stephen Wilson’s article was a great supplement to the other readings because of the viewpoint from which he presented his information. Rather than focusing solely on the often negative and stereotypical opinions artists and scientists  seem to hold of each other, he showed the various ways art and science become connected from the perspective of artists. His discussion on the models of working with science and technology was extremely enlightening, with two models in particular successfully stimulating my thought process. Originally, the continued modernist practice model led me to look at technology in a new way; it increased my appreciation for the technological efficiency and attention to aesthetics that must be combined when creating the items that now dictate our lives such as laptops, phones, cameras, etc. I was then immediately taken in by the discussion of art as research, specifically because of the topics that were used to demonstrate the way in which this method is being carried out in society today. I was inspired to do additional research on two of the scientific-artists (for lack of a better term) to learn more about what their works entailed and the theories and beliefs that stood behind these works. First I searched for information on Eduardo Kac, who is responsible for utilizing genetic engineering to develop a fluorescent dog. I was interested to discover that in addition to implanting GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) in animals such as Alba, Kac integrated the concepts of science and religion, two subjects which rarely seem to overlap, in an attempt to articulate and in a way “prove” his views on religion in the transgenic artwork “Genesis.” More information can be found about “Genesis” by visiting this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduardo_Kac

The world-famous Alba...not your ordinary house bunny.

The world-famous Alba...not your ordinary house bunny.

The second example that I felt compelled to research was the dance in zero gravity that was explored by Kitsou Dubois. Dance is another one of my many passions, so of course I was intrigued, and I was not disappointed when I found a website that  not only went into her reasoning for introducing dance to the astronauts and scientists at NASA, but also provided a video of the work she did with dancers in zero gravity. I found the video to exhibit the epitome of grace, and I believe that it makes it impossible to say that there is not infinite beauty in the fusion of the artistic with the scientific. I encourage all to watch it, it can be found at this website in the middle of the page: http://www.orbit.zkm.de/?q=node/307

Simply based on this week’s readings, the thought processes they encouraged and the information that they connected me too, I can tell that I will have many opportunities to learn about revelations that are constantly being made in science and to see science on a deeper level, a level on which it can reach more people and encourage greater creativity.

 

Leslie Grant

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